Friday, July 20, 2012

"Woodburning" by Toad the Wet Sprocket/Glen Phillips



ARTIST: Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket
SONG: "Woodburning"
WRITERS: Glen Phillips, Todd Nichols
ALBUM: Dulcinea on Columbia Records
YEAR: 1994
SITE: Toad the Wet Sprocket
BUY: Dulcinea - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Glen Phillips has written many great songs within his different bands and as a solo artist. This one by Toad the Wet Sprocket always calls my name when I hear it . . . and to be perfectly honest, gives me major guitar riff envy.

BA: Thanks for giving me some of your time today, Glen. I’m excited to talk to you about this song that I’ve enjoyed for so many years.

GP: Hiya. It’s a pleasure.

BA: Right out of the gate, I need to mention that there’s a fan-made video for this song on youtube that features an animated knights-in-armor sort of scenario. Is that pretty much exactly what you envisioned when you wrote this song?

GP: Machinima is my favorite cinematic school, so - yes.

BA: I’ve always really connected with "Woodburning" in an interesting way. I find that its instrumental components give the listener just as much to think about as the vocal/lyrical elements. Which came first, or were they written at the same time?

GP: Todd wrote the music for this one. I wrote the words and might have messed a little with the melody. Or at least I think I did. It was a while ago.

BA: I love the form of this song, and the different moods that the sections each
contain - especially the pre-chorus:
“And I find myself, here in another home . . .”
Did the song always end on that section, or was that decision made in the
studio?

GP: Pre chorus has a good bounce . . . once again, I don’t know precisely how it came to be. We tended to have our arrangements well worked out before recording. Tended to do a fair amount of experimenting ahead of time, though.

BA: There’s a message of defeat and disappointment in the lyrics, without an explanation for who/what the subject is. Is it part of a larger story or statement within the album, or is this song its own contained work?

GP: There wasn’t any kind of conscious theme for the record. As for the general content, I like to have songs be emotionally specific but situationally vague. They seem to last longer if I go that route. Instead of being one specific disappointment, I can spread it out over many disappointments, like a sad almond butter.

BA: Are you speaking as yourself in this song, or are you assuming the role of someone else?

GP: Both? Mostly I try to hit something that feels true and worry less about who’s saying it - over time we play all kinds of characters. Every once in a while I’m writing for a particular person, but then I spend most of my effort making that person as universal as I can.

BA: I know your band was touring heavily leading up to the making of the album, Dulcinea. Was "Woodburning" written on the road?

GP: We never wrote on the road. Not much open time.

BA: What is the title in reference to?

GP: We were friends with a Santa Barbara band called The Woodburning Project. When Todd brought in the main riff we thought it sounded a little like them . . . the name just stuck.

BA: The recording on the album has a strong energy. How much of it was
tracked live?

GP: We tracked everything together, but probably replaced the main guitars and vocal.

BA: What were you listening to at that point in your life?

GP: Lots of Talk Talk. Laughing Stock.

BA: I know that Toad has returned to touring in recent years. How is it to play this song eighteen years later – assuming that it still makes the set list?

GP: It’s a fun one live. I like singing it. Still need to work out the ending, though.

BA: What’s your favorite song right this minute?

GP: This minute? "In Germany Before the War" by Randy Newman.

BA: Thanks for you time, Glen. And thanks for the great song.

GP: You’re very welcome. Thanks for checking in.

3 comments:

  1. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it! buy Spotify streams

    ReplyDelete
  2. pay per click programs are really great, i could earn some decent cash from it.. buy Youtube views

    ReplyDelete
  3. investing is tricky, sometimes you win and sometimes you loss. Risk takers win of course.. promote your music

    ReplyDelete